Stalker Purim Romps in Arlington Classic

(from Arlington Park report)
Unbeaten Purim stalked a quick pace before striking to the lead in the stretch en route to a 2 ½-length victory in the $150,000 Arlington Classic (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Arlington Park turf.

Two-time Arlington champion rider Mark Guidry rode the Tom Proctor-trained son of Dynaformer to his third lifetime victory. They covered the 1 1/16-mile distance over firm turf in 1:42.65 and paid $8.20, $5.40 and $4.40 as the third choice of the public.

"He ran a tremendous race," said Guidry, who won this race in 2000 aboard Baptize. "Running down the backstretch, he found his pace. He's very professional and he's got a nice stride about him. He's bred top and bottom to run as long as you want him to. The more you run him, the more professional he'll get and the more you'll hear from him."

Purim sat second off a hot pace set by United, a 20-1 shot who led through fractions of :23.41 for the quarter, :47.61 seconds for a half-mile and a three-quarter split in 1:12.38 before giving way late. United ($16.40, $9.40) finished second by a length over Cosmic Kris ($8).

The Arlington Classic was Purim's first victory in stakes competition. He earned $90,000 to triple his career bankroll to $131,090 for his owner-breeder E.J. Sukley of Plainfield, Ill., who also notched his first stakes victory.

Cosmic Kris rallied from the back of the pack to finish third, followed by Hole in the Head, Gold Minister, Major League, Southern Africa, Ready Ruler and Guillaume Tell, the 7-5 favorite who finished last after a rough start.

"He got slammed from the gate," said Shaun Bridgmohan, who rode the beaten favorite. "They put blinkers on him and they thought it would focus him. I'm not sure if it was getting slammed from the gate or the blinkers but all he wanted to do was run off."

(Chart, Equibase)